Game Day Crostini Bar

Published: Oct. 29, 2016 at 12:24 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 29, 2016 at 3:14 PM CDT
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Source: Rebecca Gordon
Source: Rebecca Gordon
Source: Sara Hampton/WBRC
Source: Sara Hampton/WBRC

The Menu

Grilled Rosemary Steak & Chicken
Orange & Blue Pimiento Cheese
Crimson & White Artichoke Popper Dip
Buttery Crostini Toasts

Highfalutin' Tailgating Toppings

Jalapenos, toasted pecans, bacon, arugula, scallions

Game day socials can be tasteful events with a few simple ideas. Grilled chicken & steak rank high with football fanatics. Topped over spread options such as southern pimiento cheese & a spicy artichoke dip, you'll be well on your way to winning the crowd over to your sidelines.

Grilled Rosemary Steak & Chicken
makes 8 appetizer servings

Tailgating On The Go

Traveling to campus for a beautiful outdoor celebration is a cinch. Pop the chicken & steak in separate zip-top bags the night before with the marinade. Toss into the cooler on your way out the door.

1 lb New York strip steak

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins

2 Tbsp olive oil, divided

2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, divided

1 tsp kosher salt, divided

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper, divided

Rub the steak with 1 Tbsp rosemary, 1 Tbsp oil,

1/2 tsp salt & 1/4 tsp pepper & place on a plate.

Repeat with the chicken & the remaining ingredients on a separate plate.

Cover & chill for 1 hour.

Grill the steak & the chicken over direct Medium-High heat {350 to 400 degrees}

3 to 4 minutes per side or until the steak reaches the desired degree of doneness

& the chicken reaches 165 degrees. Remove from the grill & let stand 10 minutes.

Slice the steak & the chicken into strips.

The Extra Point

Think beyond game day. Everyday meal solutions just got a bit easier. Top salads, quesadillas & baked potatoes with these weeknight powerhouses or serve next to teammates such as grits, rice or grilled vegetables.

Orange & Blue Pimiento Cheese

makes 2 1/2 cups

The Basic Fundamentals

Classic steak flavors season this popular southern spread that can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. Purchase an additional 5-oz container of blue cheese crumbles if you want to add the garnish.

1 {8-oz} package extra sharp Cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 {8-oz} package cream cheese, softened

1 {5-oz} container blue cheese crumbles

1/3 cup diced roasted red bell peppers

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 scallions, minced

2 garlic cloves, pressed

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp ground red pepper

Garnish: Blue cheese crumbles

Buttery Crostini Toasts or crackers

Combine the first 9 ingredients in a medium bowl.
Garnish, if desired.

Serve with Buttery Crostini Toasts or crackers.

The Extra Point

Pipe the flavorful favorite into celery sticks or simply offer with a healthy selection of vibrant crudite. Slather over toasted bread & layer with BLT classics for a yummy lunch sandwich. Try a tailgating tried & true by making pretty pinwheel sandwiches. Spread the pimiento cheese over flour tortillas & top with turkey, lettuce & bacon. Roll up & slice them just before serving.

Crimson & White Artichoke Popper Dip
makes 8 servings

Run The Option

This tailgating favorite holds its own prep rally with extra team players such as garlic, scallions and lots of fiery heat from the jalapenos. For a milder dip, start with a few tablespoons of the minced peppers and have a taste… adjust accordingly.

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 {14-oz} can quartered artichoke hearts, drained & chopped

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 scallions, minced

1/3 cup minced red jalapeno peppers

2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 3/4 cup Italian cheese blend, divided

Buttery Crostini Toasts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the first 8 ingredients & 1 1/2 cups Italian cheese blend in a large bowl.

Spoon the mixture into a lightly greased 1-quart casserole dish.

Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Italian cheese blend.

Bake for 30 minutes or until hot & bubbly in the center.

Serve with Buttery Crostini Toasts.

The Extra Point

If a crostini party isn't a part of your game plan, the dip can be served with corn chips, crackers or crudite for an equally delicious snack time out.

Buttery Crostini Toasts
makes about 8 appetizer servings

The Basic Fundamentals

Baking the toasts at a lower temperature allows the bread to dry out & crisp throughout. Broiling the last few minutes of the bake time lends a lovely golden brown.

1 {15-oz} quality baguette, cut into 5/16-inch slices

1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Arrange the bread in a single layer on a half sheet pans.

Brush the slices with melted butter.

Bake for 10 minutes. Switch the oven to the broil setting.

Place the pans under the broiler.

Cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes or until the toasts are lightly browned.

Cool completely.

The Extra Point
Serve the toasts with salads for crunch time appeal. Slather with jam & top with a smidgen of crumbly cheese for extra style points.

Rebecca Gordon
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